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.      TRAGIC    ELEMENT    IN    MODERN    CONFLICT

of man to untie. It represents therefore a contribution
'that historical science itself has added to our interpreta-
tion of lifeone which leads us to place a different
construction on the whole human drama, since it un-
covers the tragic element in human conflict. In his-
torical perspective we learn to be a little more sorry
for both parties than they knew how to be for one
another.

n

The international situation of die present day is so
difficult, and we are so greatly in need of a deeper vision
that we ought to be ready to clutch at anything which
might have a chance of leading us to fresh thoughts or
new truths. We might ask, therefore, whether in the
modern world there is any hint of the kind of human
predicament that we have been considering and whether
the idea can be of any use to us when we are seeking
light on our contemporary problem. For the purpose
of illustrating an argument I should like to describe and
examine an imaginary specimen case in diplomacyone
which will enable me to isolate and to put under the
microscope that very factor in human conflict which so
often emerges at a later time, when historians have long
been" reflecting on the issue, but which is so often
concealed from contemporaries in the heat of action and
in all the bustle of life. For the purpose of assuring
that the issue shall confront us more vividly I should
like to present this imaginary instance in the guise of
H.H.K.                        17                                B